After making the drive to host Southwestern, the Hauser boys basketball team was hoping to score a gritty victory over the struggling Spartans.
The Jets gave and got a lot of grit but didn’t come up with the Mid-Hoosier Conference victory.
Instead, the Jets found themselves faltering in the final minutes in a gritty battle with the hosts, who went on to squeeze out a 52-51 win.
Southwestern’s Bryce Rowe slipped past Hauser’s defense for a layup with 13.6 seconds remaining to put the Spartans back in front after the Jets had built a 51-48 lead with 92 ticks left in the contest.
The Spartans converted consecutive turnovers by Hauser to take the lead, as well as watch the visitors miss at the free throw line with 29 seconds left and then held their breath as Jets junior Mason Ramsey misfired on a wide-open 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
“I thought we played pretty good basketball for three quarters and four minutes,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said. “But that last four minutes we kind of got rattled and lost our concentration.”
The Jets (6-8) fell to 3-3 in Mid-Hoosier Conference play, while Southwestern (2-12) won its second straight MHC contest to improve to 2-5.
“Southwestern played well and hit some key shots down the stretch,” Nobbe said. “We were hurt by a few miscues and misfired on some key shots.”
Senior Trey Shipley paced Hauser with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He also registered a trio of steals as the Jets pressured the Spartans into committing 20 turnovers, including nine in an intense second period that saw the Jets outscore their opponents 18-12 to take a 35-32 lead at halftime.
The Spartans were on top 20-17 after the opening quarter, thanks to on-target long-range shooting as they connected on four treys from four different players.
But they drained just three 3-pointers the rest of the game as the Jets turned up the perimeter defense and maintained their lead throughout three quarters.
Rory Thayer, who finished with eight points, was the only Jet to connect from long range, drilling his first just moments into the third quarter and another moments later to give his team its largest lead of the game at 43-35.
Hauser scored just eight points the rest of the way.